Jesus is inviting you into the often difficult but also fruitful conversation. By royal decree you have been summoned by the King. He wants to teach you how to love, listen, learn, and leverage your life for the sake of His Gospel and His Kingdom. (Dr. Gray, Derwin, “How To Heal Our Racial Divide”, pg 188)
Day 166 of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Day 66 of America’s deadly summer (I started this count from June 1). Click on either count for an update to the wars that are gripping this world: the war in Eastern Europe and the war within our own streets. I hate to start each post with such gloomy facts, but until there is peace in the streets, or peace in the East, I’m going to keep those topics at our forefront. Plus, as Dr. Derwin Gray stated throughout Chapter 8 of “How To Heal Our Racial Divide”, we, as the collective body of Christ, need to be engaging in these difficult conversations.
In “Engage in Difficult Conversations”, Dr. Gray points out that as followers of Jesus, we are “children of light”, exposing the darkness so healing, repentance, reconciliation and restoration can occur (pg. 190). To expose the darkness of this world, we have to talk about it, we need to bring it to the world’s attention. One of the worst acts we can commit is to just carry on with our lives like the world is not crumbling around us. If you are living a life of comfort in this current global, and local, crisis, you need to get out, get into the mess, and start finding ways to fix it. Until every knee bows at the return of our King, we have endless work to do.
I really hope you clicked on the video for “I Thank God” that I shared yesterday. I listened to that song on repeat yesterday. While the whole track is amazing, when Dante Bowe sings the words “I can not deny what I have seen. Got no choice but to believe”. That line, I can not deny what I have seen, is my testimony right there. I can not deny the hand of God’s favor in my life. I have PERSONALLY seen the redemptive power of God, felt the Holy Spirit in my soul. And as Mr. Bowe belts out later in the song, “If He did it for me, He can do it for you”. Who am I to deserve such mercy and grace? If you only knew all the mistakes, all the sins I have committed in my ignorant, younger days, and He still came for me. Jesus died for me, for my sins, to redeem me, to offer me eternal life, to give me the chance to redeem my soul, to bring others to the light. Jesus did it for me. Jesus will do it for you. What grave are you buried in today? Whatever it is, whatever hole you feel you can not climb out, take another look. Fall on your knees, trust in Jesus, ask for His forgiveness, seek His grace, and look up. I guarantee you’ll see Him reaching down to pull you out of that grave. It’s time to get up out of that grave!
Before I let you go out into the world this weekend to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I have a bunch of new music to share with y’all from LAST Friday. There was new music from We The Kingdom; a fantastic new anthem from Matt Maher; great new tracks from heavy hitters like Zach Williams(click on Mr. Williams video to see a powerful example of how simple acts of kindness can alter the course of someone’s life) and Matthew West (definitely click on Mr. West to watch a wonderful video to remind us of what a great person he is); powerful worship songs from Influence Music, SEU Worship, and Citipoint Worship; a beautiful collaboration of Anna Golden and Kari Jobe; but my favorite track is the one below by Canyon Hills Worship. This melody is a perfect reminder of the most important act we can do in following Jesus: to simply Surrender.